One of the most exciting races of the year has arrived, as it is time to set the field for the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship. Richmond plays host to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 where 11 drivers are trying to lock up the final eight spots in the Chase.
For our Creatures this means they have one last chance to snatch up the last ten bonus points available as we will be reset for New Hampshire next weekend. It also means that after this weekend the Creature can only pick a driver once over the final ten events.
But before they really have to put on their thinking caps and get serious, this weekend it’s all about rocking out and here’s whom our Creatures think are going to roll into victory lane on Saturday night.
Ben Bomberger: Kyle Busch
The shrub knows what he needs to do on Saturday night to get himself a spot in the Chase. While a win isn't necessary, this kid is never satisfied with second-place.
I see hoisting the trophy in victory lane, securing a Chase berth, and sitting first in points after the reset.
James Broomhead: Denny Hamlin
It's the last race before the Chase, so expect some fireworks. That said, I'm pinning my final hopes of bonus points on flat track old reliable Denny Hamlin. With his security in the Chase I'm hoping he can go for the win pressure free.
Mary Jo Buchanan: Kyle Busch
Busch knows he needs the performance of his life to get into the Chase. He has one win, the May race, and seven top five finishes at Richmond. He will either win or crash and burn. And in this case, I'm picking him to race his way in.
Kelly Crandall: Kyle Busch
All eyes are going to be on the M&M’s Toyota come Saturday night. He’s one of the best at Richmond, won the Spring race, and said he is going there with no other plans than to win the race this weekend.
He wants to be in the Chase and without relying on his competition to have trouble; he’s going to have to go show everyone that he’s ready to fight for a championship by racing his way in.
Mason Dunn: Kyle Busch
I'm ready to root Rowdy on from the suite as he chases down Vickers and Kenseth to improve his average finish at Richmond (sixth), as well as make it into the Chase.
He’ll either share the lead with Mark Martin or have the lead outright with 50 bonus points should he win on Saturday night.
Adam Heasley: No Pick Sent
No pick sent.
Danielle Henderson: Kevin Harvick
Kevin "happy" Harvick has been on a role for the past couple weeks. Last Sunday Harvick came very close to a victory, finishing second to Kasey Kahne. I am confident that Kevin Harvick will bring home a win in Richmond.
Kara Martin: Kyle Busch
Kyle has got to fight his way into the Chase on Saturday night and no one does it better than he does. It is fight or flight and I predict that Kyle will fight tooth and nail for a second win in Richmond and his ticket into the Chase.
SM Napier: Kyle Busch
Going to stay with Rowdy Busch with this weeks pick. He won in the Spring race, he should be able to make up 37 points, get into the Chase and sweep Richmond in 2009.
Kyle Ocker: No Pick Sent
No pick sent.
David Phillips: No Pick Sent
No pick sent.
Jen Preston: Kevin Harvick
Learning from my mistake last week, Kevin Harvick is my obvious choice for Richmond. He's coming off just his second top five of the season, and between his Cup and Nationwide career he has five wins, 15 top fives and 23 top 10s at Richmond.
Happy may not be making the Chase in '09, but believe the No. 29 is looking for momentum going into next season, and this is just the track to continue doing that.
Rob Tiongson: Jimmie Johnson
While JJ may be assured of a spot in the Chase and is in position to basically do whatever he wants, rest assured that the No. 48 Lowe's team is looking to gain an additional 10 points for a fourth victory.
Why would it be pivotal?
In the event that Kyle Busch misses the Chase, a win for Johnson and the Three-Timers translates into a tie for first place with teammate Mark Martin and more importantly, an easier road to an unprecedented fourth straight title.
The Creatures have spoken and it looks like majority of them will be enjoying a bowl of M&M’s on Saturday night with the rest of the Kyle Busch fans.
Who will lock their spot in the Chase? Who might get kicked out? And which Creature will set themselves atop the point standings with an extra ten bonus points?
Tune in for 400 laps around Richmond, as all our questions will be answered and the championship picture gets clearer.